Where Are You From? Where Are You Really From? 150 years of Asian Americans in Michigan.

Supporting the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, we're proud to promote the works of the following AAPI authors:

• CURTIS CHIN- A graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Michigan, Chin has received awards from ABC/Disney Television, New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts and more. Chin has screened his films, Vincent Who? and Tested, with over 600 entities in sixteen countries including the White House, Amnesty International, and the Government of Norway. A co-founder of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, his memoir, “Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant" will be published by Little, Brown in Fall 2023. 

• CARLINA DUAN is a Chinese American writer-educator from Michigan, and the author of the poetry collections I Wore My Blackest Hair (Little A, 2017) and Alien Miss (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2021). Carlina’s poems have appeared in POETRY Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Poets.org, The Rumpus, and other publications. Her writing has been supported with residencies and awards from Tin House, the Academy of American Poets, the U.S. Fulbright Program, and more. Carlina received her M.F.A. in Poetry from Vanderbilt University. She is currently a doctoral student in the University of Michigan’s Joint Program in English and Education. (VIDEO SUBMISSION TO COME)

• MINAL HAJRATWALA - Minal Hajratwala (www.minalhajratwala.com) wrote the award-winning epic Leaving India: My Family’s Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents, called “incomparable” by Alice Walker and “searingly honest” by the Washington Post; Bountiful Instructions for Enlightenment (poetry); and the Moon Fiji travel guidebook. She edited Out! Stories from the New Queer India (2013) and co-founded The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective. She graduated from Stanford, was a fellow at Columbia, was a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar, and attended the Clarion West workshop in 2019. Her Granta essay “A Brief Guide to Gender in India” was named one of the 10 best pieces of writing on the web for 2015. She created the Unicorn Authors Club to help authors finish books.

• MARCIA LEE (she/her) seeks to create a more just and compassionate world through individual and collective healing. Marcia is a writer and poet. She is published in the book, The Sandbox Revolution: Raising Kids for a Just World, performed in Vincent Who? the movie, and more. She is co-director of Healing by Choice!, a circle of women and gender non-conforming healers of color. She co-founded Taproot Sanctuary to live in right relationship with ourselves, the earth, and our neighbors. Marcia is a healing centered (c) leadership coach; restorative justice/peacemaking circle keeper and trainer; retreat leader of Circles of Trust(c); tai chi teacher; and mentor & trainer for PeoplesHub, an online movement school. Her people are from Taiwan and she lives in Waawiyatanong, currently known as Detroit, MI with her children, husband, and ducks.

• ZILKA JOSEPH - Zilka Joseph’s work is influenced by Indian and Western cultures, and her Bene Israel Jewish roots. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Poetry Daily, Frontier Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, Asia Literary Review, Review Americana, and in anthologies such as Cheers To Muses: Works by Asian American Women, India: A Light Within, a collaborative project, RESPECT: An Anthology of Detroit Music Poetry, 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium, Home: Michigan State University Libraries Short Edition, and The Kali Project. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for PEN and Pushcart awards. Sharp Blue Search of Flame (Wayne State University Press) was a Foreword INDIES Award finalist. Her third chapbook Sparrows and Dust is a Notable Best Indie Award winner and a Notable Asian American Poetry Book. In Our Beautiful Bones, her newest book, is also a Foreword INDIES Award finalist, and has been nominated for PEN and Pushcart awards. She received a Zell Fellowship, the Michael R. Gutterman Award for poetry, and the Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship from the University of Michigan. She teaches creative writing workshops, and is a freelance editor and manuscript advisor. www.zilkajoseph.com

• FRANCES KAI-HWA WANG is a journalist, essayist, speaker, activist, and poet focused on issues of diversity, race, culture, and the arts. The child of immigrants, she was born in Los Angeles, raised in Silicon Valley, and now divides her time between Michigan and the Big Island of Hawai‘i. She has worked in philosophy, ethnic new media, anthropology, international development, nonprofits, and small business start-ups. Her writing has appeared at NBC News Asian America, PRI Global Nation, New America Media, Pacific Citizen, Angry Asian Man, Cha Asian Literary Journal, Kartika Review, Drunken Boat, and several anthologies, journals, and art exhibitions. She teaches courses on Asian/Pacific Islander American media and civil rights at University of Michigan, and she teaches creative writing at University of Hawaii Hilo and Washtenaw Community College. She co-created a multimedia artwork for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Indian American Heritage Project online and travelling art exhibition. She is a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit winner, Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice Journalism Fellow on Poverty, and Keith Center for Civil Rights Detroit Equity Action Lab Race and Justice Reporting Fellow on Arts and Culture. Her newest book of poetry, You Cannot Resist Me When My Hair Is In Braids was published with Wayne State University Press in March 2022. franceskaihwawang.com @fkwang

• RICHARD LUI, a graduate of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and author of "Enough About Me," is a veteran and award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in television, film, technology, and business. Currently at MSNBC and previously with CNN Worldwide, he is the first Asian American man to anchor a daily national cable news program, and a team Emmy and Peabody winner. He completed an Oscars Qualifying documentary on student caregivers in military families that hit national broadcast and mainstream streaming in late spring 2021. In addition, Richard’s 15-year business career involves a fintech patent and launching six tech brands over three business cycles. Richard has lived, worked, and volunteered on every continent. Learn more at www.richardlui.com.

• PURVI SHAH's favorite art practices are sparkly eyeshadow, raucous laughter, and seeking justice. She won the inaugural SONY South Asian Social Service Excellence Award for her leadership fighting violence against women. Her new book, Miracle Marks , explores women, the sacred, and gender & racial equity. Terrain Tracks , her debut prize-winning book, plumbs migration, lineages, and belonging. While at the University of Michigan, she took her first Asian American Studies classes – and began a lifelong engagement with community advocacy. While at UM, she also won the Virginia Voss Poetry Award and wrote a third of the poems that would become part of her first book, Terrain Tracks. With artist Anjali Deshmukh , she creates interactive art at https://circlefor.com/ . Their participatory project, Missed Fortunes , documented experiences, celebrations, and pandemic rituals to create poetry and visual art, connection, and a community archive for healing. You can see and purchase the art prints at https://tiny.one/circlefor . Find more @PurviPoets.

• SHERINA RODRIGUEZ SHARPE (she/her) is born, raised, and continues to live in Waawiiyatanong, currently known as Detroit, MI.  She is the co-founder of The TETRA, a national arts movement that centers creative & cultural producers to cure trauma and transform inequity in our communities. Sherina co-leads with her partner, Chace Morris, the Digital Underground Railroad (DURxR), a new model for racial healing, education, and digital and community collaboration forged by balancing art, healing, justice, sensory immersion, gathering and ritual to create the Promised Land that we deserve. Sherina is a popular education facilitator, Healing by Choice! Practitioner, and holder of ritual space.

• LARA STAPLETON was born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan. Her maternal family is from the Philippines. She is the author of the short story collections The Ruin of Everything (Paloma Press)  and The Lowest Blue Flame Before Nothing (Aunt Lute), an Independent Booksellers' Selection, and a Pen Open Book Committee Selection. She edited The Thirdest World (Factory School) and co-edited Juncture (Soft Skull). A graduate of NYU's creative writing program, her greatest pride is for her students at Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. 

• BRYAN THAO WORRA is the Lao Minnesotan Poet Laureate and the author of 10+ books. One of the first Lao Americans to arrive in the US in 1973, he grew up in Ann Arbor between 1980-1998. He received a 2019 Joyce Award with the Lao Assistance Center to present a historic exhibition of multi-generational stories of the Lao refugee community to mark the 45th anniversary of migrating to the Midwest. He holds over 20 national and international awards for his writing and community leadership. He is the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. He has presented at the Smithsonian and the 2012 London Summer Games on the role of the imagination and memory in creative writing as a poet and prose writer, focusing on the creative journeys of Southeast Asians, and will discuss his work at the Library of Congress on May 2nd.

• PAULA YOO is an award-winning book author, TV writer/producer and feature screenwriter. She is also a former journalist, having worked for The Seattle Times, The Detroit News, and PEOPLE Magazine. Paula is the author of 12 children’s books and Young Adult novels. Her debut YA novel GOOD ENOUGH (HarperCollins 2008) received an Asian Pacific American Honor for Youth Literature. Her latest YA narrative non-fiction book is FROM A WHISPER TO A RALLYING CRY: THE KILLING OF VINCENT CHIN AND THE TRIAL THAT GALVANIZED THE ASIAN AMERICAN MOVEMENT (Norton Young Readers/W.W. Norton & Company, 2021). Her next YA nonfiction book, RISING FROM THE ASHES: HOW THE 1992 LOS ANGELES UPRISING BRIDGED TWO COMMUNITIES, will be published in Fall 2023 by Norton Young Readers. Paula's TV credits include Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, The CW’s Supergirl, SyFy’s Defiance and Eureka, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, and NBC’s The West Wing, and she has sold several TV pilots and feature scripts.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
3546 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216-1007
I Wore My Blackest Hair Cover Image
$14.95
Out of stock
ISBN: 9781503941977
Published: Little a - November 14th, 2017

Alien Miss (Wisconsin Poetry Series) Cover Image
$16.95
Out of stock
ISBN: 9780299331344
Published: University of Wisconsin Press - March 9th, 2021

Moon Fiji (Travel Guide) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781640492981
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Moon Travel - May 14th, 2019

Sharp Blue Search of Flame (Made in Michigan Writers) Cover Image
$15.99
Out of stock
ISBN: 9780814340493
Published: Wayne State University Press - April 4th, 2016

In Our Beautiful Bones Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781952781070
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mayapple Press - August 31st, 2021

You Cannot Resist Me When My Hair Is in Braids (Made in Michigan Writers) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780814349410
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wayne State University Press - March 1st, 2022

Miracle Marks: Poems Cover Image
$18.95
Out of stock
ISBN: 9780810140387
Published: Curbstone Books 2 - June 15th, 2019

Enough about Me: The Unexpected Power of Selflessness Cover Image
$26.99
Out of stock
ISBN: 9780310362395
Published: Zondervan - March 23rd, 2021

The Ruin of Everything Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781734496550
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Paloma Press - October 19th, 2021

Demonstra: A Poetry Collection Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780991675975
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Innsmouth Free Press - December 2nd, 2013

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781324002871
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Norton Young Readers - April 20th, 2021

The Sandbox Revolution: Raising Kids for a Just World Cover Image
$17.99
Out of stock
ISBN: 9781506466446
Published: Broadleaf Books - March 30th, 2021